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Philip Hammond to quit government if Boris Johnson becomes PM

Chancellor joins David Gauke in saying he could not work for leader seeking a no-deal Brexit

WT24 Desk

Philip Hammond has said he intends to resign as chancellor if Boris Johnson becomes the UK’s next prime minister. He said a no-deal Brexit, something Mr Johnson has left open as an option, was “not something I could ever sign up to”, The Guardian reports.

Asked if he thought he would be sacked next week, Mr Hammond said he would resign on Wednesday to Theresa May.

He told the BBC’s Andrew Marr he intends to quit after PMQs but before Mrs May officially steps down.

Mr Hammond said it was important the next PM and his chancellor were “closely aligned” on Brexit policy.

He said the situation “might be more complicated” if Jeremy Hunt wins the Tory leadership contest, but “all the polling” suggested Mr Johnson would succeed.

“That is what is likely to happen, and I’m making my plans accordingly”, he said, adding he would wait until the result is announced on Tuesday to “see for sure”.

Mr Johnson has said the UK must leave the EU by the new Brexit deadline of 31 October “do or die, come what may”.

Mr Hammond said he understood committing to leave by this date, even with no deal, would be a condition for serving in Mr Johnson’s cabinet.

He said: “That is not something I could ever sign up to. It’s very important that a prime minister is able to have a chancellor that is closely aligned with him in terms of policy”.

He added that Jeremy Hunt’s position regarding a no-deal Brexit was “more nuanced”, and he had not demanded a “loyalty pledge” on the exit date from prospective ministers.

Mr Hammond has been a prominent critic of the idea of a no-deal Brexit, recently indicating he may vote to bring down the next PM to stop such a scenario.

He had said he could “not exclude anything” when asked whether he would back a motion of no-confidence in the government.

Asked on the Andrew Marr programme whether he would vote against the next PM in a vote of no confidence, he said: “I don’t think it will get to that”.

“I am confident that Parliament does have a way of preventing a no-deal exit on October 31 without parliamentary consent”.

“I intend to work with others to ensure Parliament uses its power to make sure that the new government can’t do that”, he added.

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